Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk

‘Do as I say, not as I do’, is a phrase that most of us are familiar with, one that we likely encountered more than once as a child. And, let’s be honest, one we have likely said to our own kids if we have them. It is usually accompanied by some sort of gesture that, although we have repeatedly told them not to do, we have done exactly that, right in front of them. It is the complete opposite of our blog title this week of ‘talking the talk and walking the walk’.

Now, let’s put this whole little trip down memory lane into context. We, The Crossing, are a conference and retreat centre. We encourage people to come and spend time, money, and hours away from their desks to visit us with their teams as it will improve overall performance and team relationships. I am sure that people often wonder if we do this ourselves and the answer is yes!  And, although we are located at an actual retreat facility, it is our ‘office’ and therefore we must ‘retreat the retreat’ in order to do this with our own team.

It is extremely important for us to ‘talk the talk and walk the walk’ to our customers and guests. We believe in what we have to offer, therefore we practice it as well. How do we know what to provide, what the feelings of accomplishment and growth are if we do not do this with our own team? We truly believe that team building is valuable and not just from the standpoint of playing games or doing exercises, but from the intangible moments that help to forge and strengthen trust, camaraderie, friendship, empathy and FUN! We do this because we love it, we do it because it is fun, we do it because we believe in it!

We are not perfect, we are far from it, but we try to embrace the essence of what The Crossing stands for in everything that we do. We may not be able to get off site to team build every quarter but small in-house lunches, group coffee breaks, spring and fall clean ups, holiday decorating as a team, and the occasional team dinner around the dining room table are great tune ups!

Yesterday we did do an off-site team activity and, as always, it left us all feeling pretty good. With spectacular transportation by our friends at Southland Transportation (always safety first!) we headed out to the picturesque Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant in Fish Creek Provincial Park for drinks, dinner and a highly entertaining murder mystery! Good times, laughs, and full bellies were experienced and we all came home feeling happy to be a team, our team.

Off site meetings and activities can bring so much to an organization whether it be intense uninterrupted time for budget or strategy meetings, a working creative session, or a much needed intellectual break from the end of a busy quarter. We believe in it, we hope you do too and if not give us an opportunity to change your mind:)

Enjoy the weekend and Happy Halloween!

Your Friends at The Crossing

PS – The image above is one of many from yesterday’s festivities at Bow Valley Ranche.

Thanks for Thanksgiving!

Who doesn’t love a time of year when outdoors looks like a Norman Rockwell painting, or that it is time to pull out your favourite wool sweater, or perhaps that the season now calls for culinary comforts such as shepherd’s pie, chili and cider?

Fall is here in all of its glory! Mother Nature is a master composer, blessing us with brilliant seasons, each one different than the next. With Thanksgiving weekend upon us, it is no wonder that she saved the brilliant colours, tastes and gatherings for Fall so that we could feast our eyes, tummies, and hearts.  To kick off this beautiful Thanksgiving weekend, we wanted to share some of the things that we are thankful for with you!

We are thankful for….
…This beautiful place we call The Crossing; the land is a true gift that gives in so many different ways.
…Our Crossing Team and extended company colleagues who truly are like family; a group where hugs are preferred over handshakes.
…The wonderful smells that waft out of our kitchen from food that is prepared with the utmost love and care, visibly bringing joy to those who consume it.
….The many hands that treat The Crossing as if it were their own, mindfully and tenderly making sure that everything is ‘just so’ to ensure our guests always feel like they are at home.
…Hours of laughter, tears, and long conversation that we have watched our guests enjoy while they are with us.
…The naturally occurring soundtrack of the river, birds, and the rustling shimmer of wind through the grasses and trees that we are priviledged to listen to everyday.
….Our community that has embraced and engaged with us on a multitude of levels.
….Lastly, you, our guests, followers, and supporters, thank you for encouraging us to continue to do what we believe in and for helping make it possible!

In closing, we just want to share the warmth of the season with you. Many of us are so lucky, let us remember this and to share our good fortune with others.

From our home to yours, all the very best this Thanksgiving weekend!

Your friends at The Crossing

Welcome to the family Ray!

There’s a new friendly face out here at The Crossing!  We would like to take a moment to formally introduce you to the newest member of our family, Guest Services Coordinator, Ray Cluney!

Getting to know our guests is of great importance to us, and we feel that it is important that you know a bit about us too.  Therefore we would like to share a little bit about Ray so that when you walk in the front door, and see his smiling face, it will be as if you are being greeted by an old friend.

As with all of our team members, we like to ask about their first impressions of The Crossing, whatever they may be. Here is what Ray had to say…

“My first impression when I walked through the doors of The Crossing was how welcoming and friendly the staff are, from the heart of the house to everyone behind the scenes.”

Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Ray moved to Banff, Alberta in April 1998 and never looked back. Jumping in with both feet, Ray started in the hospitality industry at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.   He acquired a priceless skill set working in several departments over 16 years, from dishwashing, to staff cafeteria, room service, the golf course, guest services, and everywhere in between.

Ray and his family and are proud to call Cochrane their home after relocating in June 2013.    When Ray isn’t working his magic at The Crossing he can be found partaking in several of his favourite hobbies stating that he is, “ a comic nerd, movie buff and proud member of the KISS Army who loves the Toronto Maple Leafs.”

We won’t hold that last part against you Ray. All jokes aside, you are part of The Crossing family now Ray and we couldn’t be happier! 

 

Come One, Come All!

With roots dating back to 1902, “The Little Engine That Could” is a story that we love here at The Crossing.  Its values of positivity and hard work are two things that strive to accomplish every single day.  Similarly, we are not the biggest train on the track and we might not have all the bells and whistles of a larger engine, but we have the ones that count and we more than make up for the rest with passion!

This week we want to spend some time sharing the spectrum of what The Crossing can offer.  With over 140 acres of beautiful Rocky Mountain foothills as our backyard, cozy but modern accommodations, food to rival the best around, and staff who live and breathe hospitality, let us open the doors of possibility for you!

Off-site corporate conferencing and meetings find a comfortable and productive home here at The Crossing.  With several meeting spaces, food services to accommodate a variety of schedules and needs, and casual common spaces which spur social interaction, we are proud to have built strong relationships through the many return visits of our group guests.  Add in endless opportunity to team build, either on or off-site through our local connections, our guests often reach a new level of ‘teamwork’.  Think orienteering, team development with horses, group yoga or fitness, heck, even a bouncy castle obstacle course; we’ll work to deliver a unique experience for your team.   We understand and respect the hard work that not-for-profit and charitable organizations do and, that they too, need time and space to plan and achieve their goals.  At The Crossing, we are happy to work with groups in the non-profit sector to aid in creating an experience that meets both their productivity and financial expectations.

We are often asked, “Can I come out for a night with my friends, family or spouse?”  Yes you can!  Although we do not operate like a hotel, The Crossing does offer a variety of ways that you can enjoy a stay with us through programs and special events.  Throughout the year, various instructors ranging from art to yoga, business, leadership, and fitness just to name a few, set up day or overnight workshops that individuals can sign up for.  Often hikes, bonfires, outdoor games and ample downtime to enjoy the property are worked into the schedule.  The most popular question we are often asked at the end of these are, “when is the next program I can sign up for?”

Custom, each and every visit to The Crossing is built upon the needs of our guests and no two are alike.  Need one meeting space for an afternoon or the entire property for several days?  We can do that.  Does your group have several dietary restrictions?  We can work to provide a menu that suits those needs.  Looking for something truly ‘out of the box’ to engage your team?  The sky is the limit!  Interested in challenging yourself individually through a new program being offered?  Pack your bag!

Every season brings new opportunities for groups and individuals of all kinds to experience The Crossing.  Be sure to follow our website, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages to stay up to date as well to benefit from the many articles on business, wellness, local news, pictures and recipes to enhance your day to day!

 

 

A Feast for the Eyes

A feast for the eyes; there has not been an event so colourful than that which just occurred at The Crossing! From Aug. 21-24, we were honoured to host the second Reflections West Art Workshop, featuring talented WestGuild artists, Roger Arndt, Maurade Banton, Rick Berg, Doug Levitt, Murray Phillips and John Zacharias, who taught and mentored many eager students!

Following Reflections West Art’s inaugural workshop event last year, in addition to putting on several successful shows at The Hyatt Regency Calgary with the WestGuild group, it was no surprise that the number of participants doubled this year!  Clearly it was a combination of all things irresistible that called to the talented group of individuals who spent days and nights perfecting their technique, encouraging fellow participants, and sharing stories by the campfire. Although the common denominator was an appreciation for art, the participants ranged from those indulging their hobby to those who were exploring the possibility of creating a career out of their passion. Inspiration and talent were abound!

So, perhaps you are wondering what happens at an artists’ workshop at The Crossing? Reflections West did an excellent job of showcasing each of the WestGuild artists’ strengths and giving them the opportunity to teach and mentor all of the participating artists. Several studios were set up throughout the property to enhance specific styles and techniques. Each day three separate workshops were taught by different artists. This was followed each evening by a ‘show and tell’ of sorts where all of the participants toured the workshop spaces to see what others had created during the day. The evenings were capped off with “fireside chats” where the teachers and participants shared their experiences, not only from the retreat, but in their careers as well.  With Mother Nature sharing some beautiful weather on the last day, some of the artists took to the grounds for a little plein air painting, a great way to end a wonderful weekend. Needless to say there were many laughs, some (happy) tears, friendships and personal growth that resulted.

Clearly one does not come to The Crossing without eating and having a place that feels like ‘home’, and the participants’ creative fires were kept burning by the weekend-long feast prepared by Chef Doug and his team. We are also happy to hear from Reflections West that when asking the participants for feedback on what their least favourite part of the retreat was (a job well done for always striving to improve), the response was, “packing up and leaving, and saying good-bye.” Well, we at The Crossing feel the exact same way!  Looking forward to seeing everyone again next year and in the meantime keep being inspired by the beauty around you!

Riverside Rejuvenation

The river that runs through our property at The Crossing has a calming affect; the sound, the colour, the visual presence, it truly has a mesmerizing and transformative power. It is hard to leave the riverside without feeling lighter, brighter and, overall, simply better.

For the past several years The Crossing has welcomed Casting for Life to share in the beauty of the property, and the river in particular. Casting for Life is an incredible organization that, “was created to provide physical, spiritual and emotional support to breast cancer survivors.” This is done through a weekend retreat at The Crossing, this year will be July 18th-20th, and we are honoured to be part of it.  The land, the river, the art of fly fishing, allow these incredibly brave women the chance to connect to themselves and each other. Time for reflection, fun, and rest, afford them the opportunity to focus on the mental, emotional and physical aspects of healing and rejuvenation.

This is an incredible weekend, one that many women have found powerful and uplifting! If you or someone you know might be interested in partaking please contact Casting for Life via their website by clicking on the highlighted links. We would like to thank Casting for Life for allowing us to be a part of this profound weekend for so many years and we look forward to continuing to provide a special place for this magic to occur!

Music to our ears…

It was certainly something special; something we had never done before, something we were honoured to do, and something we can hopefully do again!  Last night, The Crossing had the extreme pleasure to partner up with the National Music Center (NMC) to promote and celebrate the importance of Canadian music!

It was a Stampede party like no other!  Mountain and river views, amazing food by our friends at The Hyatt Regency Calgary as well as our excellent in house culinary team, and of course, the music!  Canadian icons Jim Cuddy, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Paul Brandt rocked the huge party tent and showed that Canadian musicians are a talented, proud, and diverse force to be reckoned with!  The party helped to raise awareness and support for NMC and their new home which “gives Canada a place that amplifies the love, sharing and understanding of music.”

NMC, based in Calgary, is currently in the midst of constructing a state of the art facility which will include an interactive museum, concert hall and recording spaces, educational programming, live music and a mind blowing instrument collection, just to name a few!  This new home will allow Canadians to celebrate our musical culture and heritage, and showcase the diversity and importance our country has played in music’s history.  To learn more about NMC and their current projects, or to inquire about how to can show your support, please visit them at www.nmc.ca .

Music is art, it is comfort and joy, it helps ease pain and brighten a day.  Music is memories, music is the future.  We are proud to work with and support the National Music Center to help build a home to share the amazing gift of music with all of Canada!

 

You’re Hired!

Today is your lucky day!!! The Crossing is looking for another great team member to join our crew in the role of Guest Services Coordinator.

If love people, nature, great colleagues, teamwork, a unique and rewarding atmosphere, and want to call the foothills ‘your office’ then please read the job description below and email us at info@null0fe.697.mwp.accessdomain.com!

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Summertime and the livin’ is easy…

It’s here…the highly anticipated, beautiful Alberta summer!  Long days spent biking, hiking and being outside; cool nights perfect for BBQs and bonfires.  Is there really any better place to be? For all of you who will be in the area, we wanted to round up a variety of the local Event Guides to help you make this the best summer yet!  From arts in the city to hiking in the mountains and everything in between, be prepared to plan the ultimate ‘staycation’!  Hopefully you will come out and visit us too!  The fly fishing picture above is here at The Crossing.  Contact us to find out how you can live this dream!  http://crossingexperience.ca/contact/

Below are links to some of our favourite Summer Event Guides…these should keep you busy until that “s” word is back!

Cochrane Tourism – http://www.cochrane-tourism.ca/hungry

City of Calgary – http://www.cocnmp.com/recreation/myRecGuide/index.php#.U4dQXfldVFE 

Travel Alberta – http://travelalberta.com/Trip%20Essentials/Vacation%20Guides.aspx

Parks Alberta – http://www.albertaparks.ca/albertaparksca/news-events.aspx

Swerve Magazine – http://swerveevents.com/ 

National Music Centre – http://www.nmc.ca/whats-on/upcoming/

Theatre Alberta – http://www.theatrealberta.com/playbill/

Glenbow Museum – http://www.glenbow.org/

Winsport (Canada Olympic Park) – http://www.winsport.ca/activities/summeratwinsport/summeractivities.cfm

Heritage Park – http://www.heritagepark.ca/

Calgary Zoo – http://www.calgaryzoo.com/events-activities

Telus Spark Science Centre – http://www.sparkscience.ca/?fullSite=1&gclid=CL_uyvme1L4CFahAMgodiVwAbQ

 

Enjoy the weekend!

Your friends at The Crossing

Dad + BBQ + The Crossing = Father’s Day Perfection!

Dad…where do we start?

You’re the man, plain and simple.  You do so much for us all year long….sons want to grow up to be you and daughters want to marry someone who is just like you.  How can we say thank you for all that you do?  Well, we think we have come up with the perfect gift….our Annual Father’s Day BBQ!

Is there a better way to show Dad you care than to bring him out to our amazing setting and feast on Chef Doug and his team’s mouthwatering BBQ?  Nope, didn’t think so!  The only thing that may make the day even better is that there is time either before or after for Dad to get in at 9 holes of golf since we kick things off at 11am.

Do yourself a favour and leave the gift giving to us with some finger lickin’ good eats and treats for Pop.  Some time in the country with loved ones and some great food is just the ticket for making this Father’s Day one to remember.

Seating is limited so please call us at 403-932-3392 to make your reservation.

Looking forward to seeing you!

 

Your Friends at The Crossing